As Senior Living communities improve infection control practices, one way to prevent germs from spreading is by properly cleaning furniture, especially in common spaces. According to the World Health Organization and National Institutes of Health, studies suggest coronaviruses and infectious diseases may survive on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days, depending on the type of surface and temperature of the room. The CDC recommends routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface. Below are material-specific cleaning tips from our product experts. For a printable copy of these tips, download the PDF.

How to Clean Furniture

Start by identifying your furnishing type to determine the best cleaning method:

Solid Wood

  • Dining Room Chairs
  • Legs of Common
    Area Furniture
  • Accent Chairs
  • Rocking Chairs

Veneer

  • Resident Room Casegoods
  • Dining Tabletops
  • Occasional Tables
  • Office Furniture
  • Accent Chests & Tables

Cleaning method: Wipe tables with a damp cloth, then immediately wipe dry. Avoid using abrasive cleaning agents containing ammonia or other solvents (e.g., paint thinners, turpentine). A solution of warm water, vinegar and about five drops of dish soap can clean and disinfect the furniture if soiled. 

Remove dust and protect using a soft cloth and non-abrasive furniture polish. Avoid polish build-up by applying furniture polish sparingly to a soft cloth and gently wiping wood surfaces.

Thermolaminate

  • Resident Room Casegoods
  • Dining Tabletops
  • Occasional Tabletops

Cleaning method: Clean with a solution of warm water and soap. Use a clean cotton or microfiber cloth and wipe in a vertical movement with light pressure.

Cleaning agents/detergents should not contain solvents (e.g., paint thinners, turpentine), abrasive detergents (e.g., baking soda), furniture polish or denatured alcohols (e.g., white spirit). Avoid using a cleaner in combination with a brush or scouring pad.

Laminate

  • Resident Room Casegoods
  • Dining Tabletops
  • Office Furniture
  • Salon Furniture

Cleaning method: Clean the top with liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. For stubborn stains, use a household cleaner that is appropriate for use on wood products. Avoid bleach or abrasive cleaners, as these may void the warranty of the product.

Granite

  • Tabletops

Cleaning method: Use a damp cloth for daily cleaning, and use a mild detergent, like dish soap, for deep cleaning.

Polymer

  • Dining Room Chairs
  • Casegoods
  • Common Area Furniture

Cleaning method: To clean your polymer furniture, use ordinary, non-scouring, commercial cleaning products, like citrus-based cleaners or Windex®.

Metal & Aluminum

  • Dining Room Chairs
  • Outdoor Furniture
  • Office Furniture

Cleaning method: Clean with a solution of warm water and mild soap. A non-corrosive cleaner (such as glass cleaner) will work well. Use a fine automotive wax to maintain the gloss on non-textured finishes.

Wrought Iron

  • Outdoor Furniture

Cleaning method: Clean with warm, soapy water.

Teak Wood

  • Outdoor Furniture

Cleaning method: Cleaning teak with a soft bristle brush and mild liquid detergent dissolved in warm water will eliminate most of the dirt, air pollutions and algae. Note: this will result in a silvery-gray patina over time. To maintain the original teak color, you’ll need to apply a coat of teak sealer after cleaning.

High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

  • Outdoor Furniture

Cleaning method: Use water and any non-abrasive cleaner, but do not use bleach on these products. High-pressure washing is recommended for white pieces. This material is non-porous and won’t absorb spills that may stain. Unlike most other plastics, this furniture is considered colorfast.

HDPE Wicker Weave or Ndura Resin Wicker

  • Outdoor Furniture

Cleaning method: For best results, clean regularly with mild detergent and warm water. Cleaning will help prevent mildew by washing out dirt particles that may become trapped. Shake out excess moisture after rinsing and allow to dry thoroughly before storing.

How to Clean Upholstery

To properly clean fabrics, first identify your fabric type:   

Crypton

  • Dining Room Chair Backs
  • Common Area Furniture

Cleaning method: Blot ordinary spills and wipe with clean water and a sponge. For challenging stains, use a powdered enzyme detergent diluted with water, then brush, blot and rinse. Bleach is not required or recommended, but you may use a highly diluted solution if necessary.

To clean syrupy stains (e.g., cola, cough syrup), apply a few drops of water on the stain for 5 to 15 minutes, then brush, blot and rinse. For ink, marker or crayons, use a strong water-based cleaner. For ballpoint ink, use rust removers. For gum, harden with ice, remove with a dull scraper and use a powdered enzyme detergent diluted with water. For oily stains, use oil and grease removers and quickly wipe off. Follow up with a powdered enzyme detergent diluted with water and rinse.

Vinyl

  • Dining Room Chair Seats
  • Common Area Furniture

Cleaning method: Clean with a solution of warm water and mild soap. While vinyl is made to withstand daily cleanings with commonly used all-purpose cleaners, strong solvents can severely damage or discolor this material.

Outdoor Seating Cushions

  • Outdoor Furniture

Cleaning method: Clean outdoor cushions regularly by vacuuming or brushing off any loose dirt or grime, and rinse or spot clean with lukewarm water as needed. Only use water-based cleaning agents. Do not use harsh detergents as they may damage the material’s water resistance.

To spot-clean stains, or for more intensive cleaning, follow these manufacturer instructions:

  • Outdura® fabrics: Use a solution of lukewarm water (not exceeding 100°F) and a mild natural soap. A mild bleach/water mixture may be used as needed. Rinse well.
  • Bella-Dura® fabrics: Spot-clean with a water-based cleaner or mild soap. A bleach/water mixture may be used as needed. Apply cleaning solution and blot with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Sunbrella® fabrics: Spot-clean with a solution of lukewarm water and mild soap. A bleach/water mixture may be used as a spot remover when necessary.
  • Summer Classics® Exclusive fabrics: Use only water-based cleaning agents.

Print a copy of this guide for your staff to reference.
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After cleaning any surfaces, remember to clean your hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer or wash them with soap and water. Find more COVID-19 tips and resources, and call your account manager at 1-866-300-4074 or contact us with any questions – we’re always here to help.